Reading the book "Crazy". Making me think...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have been reading "Crazy". I know several of you here have, as well.
    Maybe this has been discussed, but...the book is largely about the "deinstituionalizing" of the country's mentally ill, which happened largely in the 70's, give or take. We're talking about 30-50 years ago.
    Now we have a huge increase in the number of school-age children with these disorders.
    Are these 2 potentially related?
    I am thinking of my ex-husband. The only reason his parents didn't "send" him anywhere was because he was adopted and they were afraid that was part of the "problem" he had. Now they feel certain it is not, but I digress. I'm not sure he'd have been constantly institutionalized, but its entirely possible. At times he can hold it together. Other times, the Snow White story holds more reality. According to his mom, the best time they had with him while he was still at home was after he hit her in the face with a shovel and he was put in the jeuvinile justice system and had required weekly counseling, etc. Money is the only thing that has kept him out of prison.
    He has at least 2 kids. I recently heard there is possibly a third.
    I'm not saying locking those with MH issues up is the answer, I'm just pondering, is this part of our recent "boom"...
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What, that they all were turned loose and bred?!

    Sorry for being so glib... I don't think it's that simple. I DO believe that there are a lot of external factors affecting mental illness -- a more complex and stressful world with more triggers for anyone genetically predisposed. More chemicals in our environment. And the biggest of all... I've been to conferences where they talk about studies on the genetic expression in certain diseases and that for some disorders, the further along the family tree that it gets passed down, the earlier it begins to show. A sort of genetic anticipation. It would explain why bipolar that showed up in great grandpa in his 30's popped up in his grandson in his late teens and in difficult child 2 at age 8 or 9.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thank you for being so glib. But yes.

    And I totally agree that there is far more to it than just this, but it just made me wonder if there's not a connection here, too.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There are SO MANY factors. BUT when the mentally ill were put in institutions very few of them had children. In fact there was a push in SOME institutions to authorize surgical sterilization for anyone who showed a sex drive. This did not happen in ALL of them, but I know it came up for a relative on my dad's side of the family tree. Oneof the cousin's cousin's kind of relative. I just remember how the adults in the family all were staunchly opposed to it (Catholic family - this was against the Bible and the Vatican according to their beliefs) and the institution said they would NOT be ehld responsible if anyone got pregnant.

    I was NOT supposed to hear this conversation, but as a child I found the other kids FAR less interesting that hanging around the edges of the adults and listening to all the stuff they were talking about. (My cousins were usually playing some sport, and I really did not find that interesting. I was a very odd child.)

    So now the mentally ill have more opportunity to have kids compared to when they were institutionalized. So that is ONE factor that contributes to mental illness increasing, but it is FAR from being the ONLY factor. There are SOOOO many things that contribute, we will never be able to isolate just one cause. At least that is MY opinion.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Shari, that's a part of it. But there are so many many new things contributing, as well as the genetic aspect.

    You have the increase in drugs and alcohol too to consider. Both for the genetic aspect (developing fetus) and environment aspect. There is also more awareness which is going to contribute.

    And I'm probably gonna be blasted..........But I've thought for many years our kids are being institutionalized via the current daycare/work situation. We had mothers flood the workplace in record numbers before we as a society had a chance to standardize daycare and providers. I know many working parents who's kids do fine in daycare.....some who even flourish........But there are many many more who are left there from infancy on for up to 12-16 hours a day, 5 days a week. These are the kids I'm talking about. And the kids left at home for just as long.......thought to be old enough to care for themselves.

    I'm sure there are other factors too. One's we haven't even thought about yet.

    And where is this book, so I can go out and get it? Sounds interesting.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    This was a fascinating book.

    Deinstitutionalization was actually supposed to be to get ONE person in a sanitarium : underwear, clean food, proper medication and some time out of the day room. If you read the fine print there - an attorney looking to get his client OFF (at any cost) who was NOT mentally ill - but fell under the deinstitutionalization guidelines - got off scott free and that opened a hole in the damn. Then the system went to hell thanks to Ronald Regan.

    I think he was a great president - I don't think he knew a flipping thing about mentally ill people - so how fitting he passed with Alzheimers and in the end knew possibly how others who were less fortunate could have been treated, but were cut loose with literally no home, no services. Sad really. But then - to read the description of what non-existant services are to be had in jail and out of jail for mentally's just frightening on a new level.

    I worry to the bottom of my toes about my son - 15 years in prison with no counseling, no education, no medications......even had he take the plea today for 7 years - but no one in that court EVEN wanted to hear about his mental status, or his history. It didn't count a nickles worth and I had 2 HUGE boxes of stuff for her......condensed into on file box and one 5" binder.

    Really scary